When will Wicked Part One be released?

From stage to cinema, get all the key details of Elphaba’s big screen debut

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo will star in Wicked. (Warner Bros.)
Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo will star in Wicked. (Warner Bros.)

It’s been a long time coming but we’ll soon get to relive one of the most popular stage shows of all time on the big screen, as Wicked: Part One arrives in November.

Based on the Tony award-winning musical, which was itself based on author Gregory Maguire’s book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, a cinema adaptation of this Wizard of Oz-set story has been gestating since way back in 2016.

Read more: The cursed production of The Wizard of Oz

After a stint in development hell where it was almost transformed into two different television takes, director Stephen Daldry originally signed on to direct a film adaptation in 2017 with a release date pencilled in for late 2019.

Production scheduling caused delays which were further hindered by the prolonged release date shuffling in the wake of the COVID pandemic. Eventually, Daldry bowed out and was replaced by Crazy Rich Asians’ helmer Jon M. Chu who wasted no time casting Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo as his leads.

In April 2023, Chu shared the first photos of his leading ladies in costume promising “They will lift ur spirits, break ur heart and leave you speechless with their voices."

What else can we expect from this hotly anticipated movie musical? Here’s everything we know about Wicked so far…

When will Wicked: Part One be released?

Ariana Grande as Glinda in Wicked. (Warner Bros.)
Ariana Grande as Glinda in Wicked. (Warner Bros.)

Wicked: Part One will whisk you away to Oz only in cinemas from 27 November.

Meanwhile, Wicked: Part Two is set for release in the US on Christmas Day 2025, meaning it will likely receive a Boxing Day release in the UK.

Is there a trailer for Wicked: Part One?

The first trailer for Wicked: Part One aired during the 2024 Super Bowl. It whisked us away to Oz where we met Elphaba and Glinda and saw the seeds of the tension at the centre of their relationship.

We also got a brief glimpse of Goldblum's all-powerful Wizard, with his voice narrating the start of this short trailer.

Watch it below:

What is the plot of Wicked: Part One?

Wicked is in cinemas in November 2024. (Universal Pictures)
Wicked is in cinemas in November 2024. (Universal Pictures)

Based on Maguire’s book Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, the plot of the original stage show sticks fairly closely to this title and follows Elphaba, the green-skinned heroine who ultimately becomes Oz’s notorious Wicked Witch.

Together with Glinda the Good Witch, the story chronicles the friendship of these two opposing magical beings while working itself around an appearance from Dorothy and her iconic Ruby Slippers and tracing Elphaba’s misunderstood fall to the dark side of Oz and unlikely redemption.

As per the film’s official synopsis, Wicked Part One will introduce us to Elphaba and Glinda “as students at Shiz University in the fantastical Land of Oz and forge an unlikely but profound friendship. Following an encounter with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, their friendship reaches a crossroads and their lives take very different paths.

“Glinda’s unflinching desire for popularity sees her seduced by power, while Elphaba's determination to remain true to herself, and to those around her, will have unexpected and shocking consequences on her future. Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will ultimately see them fulfill their destinies as Glinda the Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.”

Maguire’s book was adapted for the stage by dramatist and screenwriter Winnie Holzman and composer Stephen Schwartz, both of whom return to help shepherd the story into cinemas.

Margaret Hamilton (1902 - 1985) as the Wicked Witch and Judy Garland (1922 - 1969) as Dorothy Gale in 'The Wizard of Oz', 1939. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch and Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in 1939's The Wizard of Oz. (Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In April 2022, Chu, who previously spearheaded the musical movie In The Heights, revealed that the film would be split into two parts in order to do its story justice.

“As we prepared the production over the last year, it became impossible to wrestle the story of Wicked into a single film without doing some real damage to it,” Chu said in a statement.

“As we tried to cut songs or trim characters, those decisions began to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years. We decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and make not just one Wicked movie but two!

“With more space, we can tell the story of Wicked as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys for these beloved characters.”

Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba in Wicked. (Warner Bros.)
Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba in Wicked. (Warner Bros.)

While the film is reported to stick closely to the familiar plot of the stage show, cast and crew have teased that the two-part movie will surprise viewers and also contain some new tracks composed by the show’s original songwriter.

“I can tell you that at least as of now there will be probably four new songs in the movie,” said Schwartz back in 2016.

Who is in the Wicked: Part One cast?

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 01:  Cynthia Erivo arrives at the global premiere of
Cynthia Erivo arrives at the global premiere of Luther: The Fallen Sun. (Mike Marsland/WireImage)

Leading the way is Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba and musician-turned-actor Ariana Grande as Glinda, inheriting the roles made famous on stage by Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, respectively.

Together, they’ll be joined by an ensemble cast that features Jeff Goldblum perfectly cast as the Wizard of Oz, Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh as magical headmistress Madame Morrible and Saturday Night Live cast member Bowen Yang as one of Glinda’s college pals, Pfannee. Described as one half of a “conniving” duo, Yang will be joined by Harlots star Bronwyn James as ShenShen.

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17: Ariana Grande performs on stage during her
Ariana Grande performs on stage in 2019. (Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for AG)

Bridgerton’s Jonathan Bailey joins the cast as handsome prince Fiyero Tigelaar while the star of SpongeBob SquarePants: The Musical, Ethan Slater, will appear as Boq, a munchkin who's in love with Glinda.

Newcomer Marissa Bode makes her feature film debut as Elphaba’s favourite sister Nessarose, while The Greatest Showman’s Keala Settle will play Miss Coddle, a new character made especially for the film.

Wicked: Part One will be released on 27 November.